Vaginal discharge is the term for fluid or mucus that comes from the vagina. It helps keep vagina clean and moist, and protects it from infection. Vaginal discharge is often a common concern among women and leads them to seek medical advice.
Most women have some vaginal discharge and usually considered normal if it:
- doesn’t have a strong or unpleasant smell
- is clear or white
- is thick and sticky
- is slippery and wet
You can get vaginal discharge at any age, but the amount of discharge varies at different times. It usually gets heavier during pregnancy, if you’re sexually active or if you’re using birth control pills. It’s often slippery and wet for a few days between your periods (when you ovulate). Women who have been through menopause usually have less vaginal discharge
When is vaginal discharge abnormal?
Vaginal discharge is abnormal, and you need to consult a gynaecologist when it occurs with the following symptoms:
- Itching of the vagina or the area around the vagina
- Redness, pain, or swelling around the vagina
- Discharge that is foamy, greenish-yellow, or has blood in it
- Discharge that smells bad
- Pain when urinating or having sex
- Pain in the lower part of the belly
What are the causes of abnormal vaginal discharge?
Different conditions can cause abnormal vaginal discharge. Some common causes can be-
- genital tract infections. they can be STI or non-sexually transmitted like thrush
- cervical lesions like polyps or ectopy
- a reaction to soap or other product that was in the vagina.
- Retained foreign body like a tampon, condom, or vaginal sponge.
- Rare causes like genital tract tumours
The diagnosis is usually based on the recognition of the typical symptoms. Additionally, your doctor might perform pelvic examination. It includes the direct visualization of your vulva and vagina through the use of a speculum in order to look for the type of d